Opposition parties meet "to defeat BJP", say coming together to "protect India's Constitution"
New Delhi, Dec 10: The leaders of around 20 opposition parties met in the national capital today to chart out a plan to take on the BJP in 2019 elections. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that the parties have come together to 'protect India's constitution'.
However, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) skipped the meeting. The meeting held in Parliament annexe came a day ahead of the results of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram Assembly polls.
"This is a process and it is bringing together everybody. I said in the room that voices in this room are voices of the opposition in the country; our goal is to defeat BJP, protect India's constitution and our institutions," Gandhi said after the meeting.
"We will meet the President because financial stability is not there, Reserve Bank of India Governor has resigned. It is a matter of great concern in this country and the financial emergency has already started," said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The meeting was organised by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu to work out a strategy for what is being called a "grand alliance" against the BJP ahead of the national election.
Others attending are Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan , Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference,Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, former Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, D Raja of the Communist Party of India and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular).
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leaders Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha's (JVM) Babulal Marandi also attended the meeting.
Top Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot were also present.
Earlier, the meeting was planned for November 22, but had to be deferred because of the Assembly polls in five states.